Diagram from Sean Heddle Diagram from Sean Heddle

Letter: Solution to Kelowna’s homeless camp

If the city can afford a lake front property to make a beach bigger then they can put money into making a difference

Response to Kelowna’s homeless camp at the north-end of the city:

Tent city on Leon Avenue moved to north Kelowna

I wonder what the budget was for this? Couple of porta potties?

Couple of security guards at night?

This camp is on city property so there is no cost there. I’ve said it before, city council amended the bylaws to add a ‘no vagrancy’ policy within city limits. If you are homeless and have the ability to work, the city should fund a city ‘clean up crew’ and pick up garbage, clean parks, beaches – if you refuse you are at the mercy of the bylaw and could go to jail.

If you are unable to work then a program needs to be put in place to get substance abuse treatment and housing. If you refuse, you fall under the no vagrancy bylaws and face jail time. As for the immediate housing issue, the city could take some of their property and bring in a temporary emergency camp, add a cook house to prepare meals, add a shower/washroom.

Government can do this very quickly when there is a forest fire. The mayor needs to treat this as somewhat of a state of emergency to unlock provincial funding to actually do something instead of sticking them in a park.

Once in place, if you put up a tent within city limits those experiencing homelessness would be directed to the emregency camp, if they don’t go they face penalty by way of law.

Have a trailer there for group substance abuse counselling and support workers to aid in getting people into housing and treatment. We all need to quit crying about where they are being shoved next and find real solutions. Here is mine, if the city can afford a $2.1 million dollar lake front property to make a beach bigger then they can afford to put some money in to actually make a difference here.

Sean Heddle


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